Have you ever returned from a prayer conference and felt so much on fire that you sit behind a desk, write out goals for your prayer life, a routine for your spiritual growth all the while your heart bursts with excitement?
There was a time I returned from a meeting so fire up and I had all of my plans laid out but after a few days when it was time for pray, I wasn’t interested and something else seemed more interesting than praying. I found myself postponing prayers to a later time.
This continued for sometime and I wondered if the devil was monitoring my life because, why should it be that when the time I’d scheduled to pray drew close, there’d either be an interesting information on social media or I’ll be having a sweet gist with a friend or there will be just on distraction over another.
Well, I’ve discovered that the flesh will forever kick against my decision to pray. I have a responsibility to show up whether or not I feel like it. I learnt early enough that complaining about my inconsistent prayer life will not yield any result. Giving room to guilt for not praying, wishing I could maintain a stirring that I caught at a meeting was a mere waste of time. I had to do something or else al I’d have are loads of complaints and frustration.
It’s clear to me that as powerful as attending meetings and belonging to a sound local church where prayer is emphasized is, it is my responsibility to maintain that fire and keep it burning always. Whether I am on fire one minute and struggling the next is my call. The Holy Spirit will help me but I must co-operate by saying No to my flesh.
What I just said may sound cliché but it’s the truth. Putting the flesh under so the spirit-life can truly soar is a big deal. I have a responsibility to make that happen. We live in times where as believers, we can’t even joke with consistency in our prayer walk.
Can I quickly share a few practical steps that has helped me build a prayer life?
1. Set a routine for daily prayers and stick to it.
In building anything sustainable, you need a routine. During the lockdown in 2020, I had a daily plan for prayers and it helped me especially in the face of distractions. This was coupled with an accountability leader that I reported to on a daily basis. It moved me from just having random prayer times to the specific times that I created for fellowship with God. I saw exponential depth in my prayer life by just showing up daily for prayers. There were days when by the leading of the Holy Spirit, timings had to shift but this routine helped schooled my mind about an activity called ‘prayer time’
Fifteen minutes can be a great way to begin if you are trying to build consistency in prayers. You can increase the time afterwards. The important thing is that you show up daily. Look at your schedule and fix a time you want to pray everyday. Show up at those times especially when you are not in the mood to pray (you’ll have plenty of that). This help you stay disciplined and you’ll be surprised how it will influence your commitment to other areas of your life.
Set reminders few minutes before the time scheduled for prayers. When the alarm rings, it’s best to stop doing anything that entertains your flesh. You should get off your social media platforms and possibly play and sing worship songs to set the atmosphere for prayers. It will aid concentration and help curb some level of distraction.
2. Keep a consciousness of spiritual activities around you at different times of the day. This has helped me a great deal especially on days when I find myself disinterested in prayers. Get sermons, especially those centered around prayers and listen during your free time. Get clips on prayers too and pray alongside.
Deliberately build the consciousness. You could be in the kitchen, on your way to work, in the bathroom and for a few minutes, pray in the spirit. You don’t have to think out a specific request, just sing and pray in tongues and then continue with your task and at intervals, repeat the process. By consciously repeating this process, we send signals of a pattern to our subconscious mind.
3. Friends who enjoy praying can be a huge blessing. Set up regular meetings with your godly friends. This external heat from friends can kick that laziness and fan your prayer altar. We don’t depend on them to always stay on fire but the truth is, iron sharpens iron and for me, I have received strength to pray at certain times in my life by having conversations and prayer meetings with them.
4. Worship should be a huge part of your prayers. It is an excellent lubricant and helps you flow with great intensity
5. Building a life of prayer may be difficult if your mind is constantly filled with a lot of carnal things. Surround yourself with materials that builds you spiritually. Do you have Christian literature on your phone? Do you have more movies than sermons on your Youtube saved videos? What kind of songs do you have stored In your music gallery? How often do you listen to the sound teaching of God’s word? During your free time, what activity do you frequently engage in? Have you ever used those free periods to carry out a spiritual activity that’ll build you up? What takes your attention the most will dominate your mind.
7. Reflect on the motives for building a prayer life. Are you worried about your inconsistent prayer life because you think that if you are not close to God, you might not get what you desire? Is your goal to deepen intimacy with Him? Are you seeking God because you are afraid if you don’t, God will not meet your needs? The true test of your pursuit will come out eventually.
8. Creating a prayer calendar is an amazing way to organize your mind. You can schedule prayer focus for different days of the week around different areas of your life. You can also set weekly prayer goals. Of course, there will be lots of what I call Holy Ghost interruptions. Times when the Lord redirect your prayers away from what you planned. Like I stated earlier, the purpose of a prayer calendar or prayer goals is to build expectations and to create a direction for your prayer time.
Let me end by saying;
We live in a fallen world. Our atmosphere is different from the world’s and our flesh will find every possible escape root from prayers. You have a responsibility to take charge of your atmosphere by the help of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, prayer may seem monotonous and boring. Of course, it is not designed to excite your flesh. Stay praying regardless.
Don’t back down on commitment because you didn’t feel charged up after prayer. We don’t do feelings. We know God hears us because we are sons. We show up and stay prayed up regardless of how we feel. You are not your feelings. It is an essential practice to ignore your feelings and press into communion.
Breakthroughs, revelation knowledge, utterance of the Spirit comes by remaining in the place of prayers, particularly praying in tongues. Ultimately, we are the determinants of the consistency of the flames that burn on our prayer altar.
What steps are you taking to build your prayer life? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section.
Read more: What to do when your prayer life is a mess